After our first European winter, which included 4pm sunsets in Berlin and snow-covered streets in Paris, Alison and I were craving sea and sunshine. We both figured a trip to the beach is long overdue.
Having lived along the coast my entire life, I have been used to seeing the ocean regularly. Since arriving in Europe and spending most of my time in inland cities, this past year had been the longest I have gone without seeing the sea.
So as the days got warmer, the evenings longer, we decided it was time to head south to the French Riviera. We booked our tickets and jumped on a night bus to Nice, and arrived just in time for the beginning of spring.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived in Nice was the fresh ocean air. In that moment, I realized how much I had missed being close to the sea. It felt like something important had been missing from my life. Being within walking distance of the ocean instantly lifted my spirits, bringing me a renewed passion for life.
We checked into our apartment, dropped off our bags, and went for a walk. We strolled through the Old Town, picked up a couple of delicious falafels, and headed towards the Promenade des Anglais.
Walking along the Promenade was refreshing. The weather was still cool, but seeing the azure waves crashing on the pebble beach made me feel like I had come home.
We did not want to leave! Eventually the sun went down and the temperature dropped, and reluctantly we made our way back to our apartment. This walk became part of our daily routine.
After more than a month in Nice, we discovered a medieval village called Vence. It’s about an hour from Nice by bus. Vence is so magical it deserves its own blog post, but for now I’ll say it’s a place we look forward to returning to regularly whenever we need to recharge, and take time out to be creative.
We did some work for a film production company while we were in the area, and we coordinated a few production meetings in Cannes during the film festival. This was a crazy experience, to not only see this type of hustle first-hand, but also to be a part of it.
Even though we weren’t that involved with the festival, I see myself participating within the next few years. I learned a lot about how to acquire funding for films and TV shows, and am preparing to pitch some of my stories to executive producers.
A week after the Cannes Film Fest, I found myself DJing at a fancy gala event in Monaco. This happened to be the opening weekend of the Grand Prix. This gig came together almost spontaneously, and it had been a while since I had last DJed. I spent a few days preparing, and the DJ set went well.
This experience gave me some insight into Monaco’s lifestyle and culture, along with what happens behind the scenes, underneath all the glitz and glamour Monaco is famous for. It was a good reminder that there’s always more to a situation than meets the eye, and it’s important not to take things at face value.
We also spent a few days in Antibes, in the centre of the charming Old Town, right next to the beach. By now it was getting warmer, so we enjoyed a rejuvenating dip in the Mediterranean Sea just before heading back to Paris to renew our visas. We didn’t spend much time in Antibes and I would like to return there soon.
All in all, we had an incredibly eventful few months in the South of France. It really is a beautiful part of the world and I look forward to exploring more of it.
For now, our next adventure awaits.
We’re off to Lisbon this month. I haven’t been there yet and I’m excited to enjoy the summer sunshine in Portugal.
As always, more to come.